THE DOOM PATROL #104|
Summary written by Lou Mougin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
"The Bride of the Doom Patrol" (25 pages)
Guest Stars: Mento (marries Elasti-Girl in this
story), Superman, Batman, Flash, and Wonder Woman (the
Justice League of America), Robin, Wonder Girl, and Kid
Flash (the Teen Titans), Beast-Boy, Super-Hip
Mento gets a new costume and helmet in this story, and marries Elasti-Girl.
Mento levitates a lonely Elasti-Girl to his home to show off a new power-amplifier for his helmet, much to her dismay. But when an angry Cliff and Larry arrive and start a brawl with Mento, Rita stops the fight and tells them to stay out of her affairs. Still, when Mento tries to kiss Rita, she slaps him.
Later, Rita does go on a date with Mento (as Steve Dayton), who proposes marriage to her. She delays her answer until later. But, when he kisses her this time, she doesn't try to slap him. Finally, after she rescues a woman from a kidnapper and endures the joking jibes of Larry, Rita makes up her mind: she accepts Steve's proposal.
Larry and Cliff attempt to bollix the marriage with a ruse. But at the last minute, Larry admits to the ruse. Grateful for their honesty, Rita breaks off the marriage plans and returns to the Patrol, leaving Mento devastated.
Somewhat later, after Dayton gets a new Mento costume and a helmet five times more powerful than his old one, a "Mento" picks a fight with the Patrol, temporarily disables Cliff and Larry, and blinds Rita with an energy blast. The "Mento" was actually a disguised Madame Rouge, carrying out a plan of the Brotherhood of Evil to put the Doom Patrol and Mento at each other's throats. Rita's sight is restored and she joins Cliff and Larry in a brawl that leaves all four of them prey for the Brotherhood. But The Chief joins the battle, tips the scale in favor of the heroes, and puts the villains to flight.
Finally, Mento asks Rita one more time to marry her, and she agrees. Several hours later, Rita and Steve wed, in a ceremony attended by the Doom Patrol, Beast-Boy, and several other super-heroes. But just after the ceremony, The Chief learns of a bomb threat aboard a landing airplane. Rita, still in her wedding dress, charges off with Cliff and Larry, leaving Mento holding her wedding bouquet...and the bag.
A nice enough little story. The refusal of Rita to marry Mento on pg. 13 makes me feel that it may originally have been intended to be the ending of the story, but that Drake (or editor Boltinoff) decided not to cheat the readers again and scripted another 12 pages, instead of another Robotman-Iac tale, to let Steve and Rita hitch up for real. Militating against that theory: The announcement in last issue's blurb that the next Robotman-Iac story would have to wait until issue #105 because of the wedding story, and the cover, prepared in advance of the story, which depicts Madame Rouge, Superman, Batman, Flash, and Mento's new helmet, none of which appear in Part One.
Super-hero weddings, though rare, did happen in the mid-Sixties. The first was Aquaman's to Mera, in AQUAMAN #18. The second, which was probably a direct inspiration to this one, was the nuptuals of Reed Richards and Sue Storm in FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #3. Later, Goliath would marry the Wasp in AVENGERS #60. And, of course, the Silver Age Hawkman and Hawkgirl had been married from their first appearance onward.
Lots of nice bits in this one: the continuing brawls between Mento, Cliff, and Larry, Rita's loneliness and mood swings, the on-again-off-again wedding plans, Larry's change of heart and revelation of his ruse, and the guest appearances by the JLA, the Teen Titans, and even Super-Hip from BOB HOPE! Boltinoff was attempting to show that DOOM PATROL and BLACKHAWK were tied in with the DC Universe through guest-star appearances. Editors Weisinger and Schwartz took no notice of this. Ah, well...
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